Highlights from the March 1, 2021 Board of Directors Meeting

  • Treasurer Rod Wallette reported: memberships are still coming in, our tax return will be completed by a CPA, and some procedural changes will be made to improve our checks-and-balances for financial matters.
  • Cory Davis said the membership committee has selected new data base management software, and that a trial run will be held before all data is transferred. Also, Mike Fanning is stepping down as the Membership Committee Chair, so will need to be replaced.
  • The Board decided to apply to participate in the Day of Giving event held in May by the Whitefish Community Foundation, and Kay Mitchell will complete the application.
  • Mike Fanning made reservations for June 8-10 at Tally Lake Campground for the warbler birding event.
  • The consensus was that the May meeting should not be held in-person, but that by fall we could look at options, including in-person meetings in the larger meeting room.
  • Denny Olson is coordinating an OSNA work crew to work on removal of Common Buckthorn.

Of Birds and Bears – Finding a Balance

We have had the enormous pleasure all winter of enjoying birds at our feeders and the birds have benefited. Now is the time to consider taking the feeders down. If you live in bear country, out of respect for our furry, hungry neighbors, it is essential. Besides helping to keep bears out of trouble, taking your feeders down also encourages birds to go for their natural food sources of insects, especially caterpillars. Over 90% of our birds (even hummingbirds!) eat insects, a source of protein and nutrients vital to their health and more importantly essential for raising baby birds. It has been observed that it can take 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to raise a brood of chickadees (average brood 5-10). Perhaps we would start seeing fewer insects in the landscape, creating less need for toxic insecticides and helping nature to find its own balance. Taking feeders down during the summer can be a win-win for bears, birds and the environment!

Nongame Wildlife Tax Check-off

When filling out your Montana tax form this year, think “wildlife” by donating to the Nongame Wildlife Program, found on Form 2, page 11, under Contributions. If your taxes are prepared, tell your accountant that you want to donate to wildlife! Your contributions are tax deductible on next year’s return. Montana has more than 500 species of “nongame” animals that benefit from public support each year at tax time. Since 1983, the check-off has contributed over $27,000 annually to this important wildlife program.